High winds, 65 mph gusts to hit Chicago area Saturday, weather officials say

CHICAGO — Weather officials issued a high wind warning Saturday morning that is in effect until 7 p.m. for portions of central, east central and northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana.

South winds are expected to be 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 65 mph and officials caution the winds may blow down trees and power lines, causing outages as well as making travel difficult for some vehicles.

Gust up to 65 mph were expected from daybreak to noon, Nation Weather officials warned.

“It’ll be off and on, gusts of that magnitude today,” National Weather Service meteorologist Zach Yack said. Winds are expected to calm down after sunset, he added.

The Chicago area-wide storms are expected to produce little to no lightning, but will include showers and squalls throughout the day, the National Weather Service wrote in a weather advisory.

People should avoid being outside in forested area with trees and branches, and if possible to remain on the lower levels of homes and to avoid windows during the windstorm, officials said.

“Take it easy on the roads, because the winds will be pushing vehicles around,” Yack said, adding that people should also secure outdoor furniture.

So far, officials reported gusts at I-94 at 65 mph; Lewis Airport 65 mph, Sugar Grove, 52 mph, Midway and O’Hare Airports, 52 mph, Chicago Harrison-Dever Crib, 52 mph and Montrose Harbor, 50 mph.

Saturdays conditions also include rain and temperatures between 59 to 62 degrees. Nightly temperatures were expected to drop to at least 40 to 42 degrees.

Calmer weather should return to the area Sunday, Yack said. The Chicago area should then see “really pleasant conditions,” with dry weather and temperatures warming into the mid-60s, he said.

“It’ll be a little breezy out there at times, but nothing like we’re going to see today,” he said.